Germany building world’s largest passive house complex

The world’s largest passive housing complex is currently being built in Germany. With 15,150 square metres of usable floor space, the commercial and residential complex prioritises energy efficiency and community living.

Heidelberg Village, which was designed by Frey Architekten, will have photovoltaic panels on the façade to generate renewable energy all-year-round but also lower the indoor temperature in summer by acting as a sunshade. The complex, which ranges from five to eight stories, will also have an accessible rooftop garden with trees and climbing plants along the balcony of each residential unit to create vertical gardens.

The architects have designed the complex to encourage an intergenerational community: over a usable floor space of 15,150 square metres, Heidelberg Village will feature 162 residential units ranging in size from one-bedroom flats to large units for families – all accessible for persons with disabilities. Services such as a nursery, household assistance and professional nursing care will be offered on site, and there will be permanent staff to organise and manage neighbourhood activities.

Community already begins in the construction phase: the architects are organising a weekly ‘soup kitchen’ where construction workers and future residents can meet and “bond over food and friendship”, reports

Heidelberg Village is being built in Bahnstadt, a Passive House district in the city of Heidelberg that is currently being constructed on the premises of a former freight railway station. Once completed, up to 12,000 people will live and work in the new city district. The Passive House Institute calls Bahnstadt “probably the most significant Passive House project at the moment”.


Image credit: Frey Architekten

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